For the second time in his illustrious coaching career, Mark Few has been named 2021 Naismith Coach of the Year.
The Oregon native last took home the Coach of the Year trophy after guiding Gonzaga to the program’s first Final Four (and national championship appearance) in 2017.
Fast forward four years, and the Zags are unbeaten this season with a 30-0 record and still dancing in the Final Four Saturday, April 3 as they take on UCLA. The 58-year-old coach led Gonzaga to its first-ever unbeaten regular-season, as they finished 24-0 and won the West Coast Conference regular-season and conference tournament. He also earned West Coast Conference Coach of the Year for a 14th time.
“The Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year is an incredible honor. I’m very humbled by it because I’m surrounded by so many amazing coaches in our profession that I look up to and really hold in great reverence,” Few said in a statement via The Atlanta Tipoff Club.
Few has built Gonzaga into a perennial powerhouse since joining Dan Fitzgerald’s staff as an assistant in 1990 and taking over helm as head coach in 1999. They have made 20-consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament and earned a No. 1 seed four times since 2012-13.
The Zags now have 14-consecutive seasons, all under Few with at least 25 wins, and Gonzaga’s offensive juggernaut is unlike anything opposing teams have seen in decades. Gonzaga tops the nation in scoring by more than six points per game and has won 27-straight games by double figures.
And the Bulldogs absolutely clobbered their opponents in the NCAA Tournament. They dismantled No. 16 Norfolk State 98-55 in the first round, blew past No. 8 Oklahoma 87-71 in the second round, mauled No. 5 Creighton 83-65 in the Sweet 16 and gut-punched No. 6 USC 85-66 in the Elite Eight.
Few will be tasked with leading Gonzaga to more history on Saturday in the Final Four when the Bulldogs play UCLA for a chance to advance to the NCAA Championship Game. Tip off is set for 5:34 p.m. PT.